Local gardai honoured at bravery awards

Garda Padraig McWeeney from Longford who received a Bronze Medal and Certificate of Bravery from Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett at the National Ceremony awarded by Comhairle na Mire Gaile at Farmleigh House,Dublin. Photo: Julien Behal/Maxwells
Two hero Co Longford gardai were honoured this week for their part in helping to save a young woman from drowning.

Two hero Co Longford gardai were honoured this week for their part in helping to save a young woman from drowning.

Granard Gardai James Rowan and Padraic McWeeney received a bronze medal and a National Deeds of Bravery certificate from Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett at Dublin’s Farmleigh House.

The pair collected the highly recognised accolade after responding to an emergencing call shortly before 6am on August 2 2010 along a stretch of the River Shannon at Tarmonbarry.

Both gardai were in the process of dealing with a prisoner at Longford Garda Station at the time, but immediately responded to find a young woman in difficulty.

Attempts to untie a boat in an effort to come to the aid of the stricken woman proved unsuccessful, making the prospect of a successful recovery mission all the more difficult.

Within seconds, Garda Rowan dived into the icy waters and swam to the young lady with Garda McWeeney following closely behind.

Despite the young woman failing to stay afloat and losing consciousness as a result, the two gardai managed to drag her to shore where they successfully resuscitated her.

“If not for the prompt and brave actions of Garda James Rowan and Garda Padraig McWeeney on that early morning in question there is little doubt that this woman would have lost her life and drowned,” said a statement sent on from the Government’s Houses of the Oireactas .

Ceann Comhairle, Sean Barrett was just as taken by the bravery shown by both men.

“In going to the aid of others at great risk to their own safety, our award winners have brought great pride to themselves and their families and great happiness to the people and the families of those they have helped,” he said.

“It is that strength of spirit that makes our communities better places in which to live.”

The medals presented to Garda Rowan and Garda McWeeney were among 21 awards handed out throughout the course of last Friday.